A $2 trillion stimulus package deal was agreed to on Wednesday morning, ending an impasse between political parties and the White House on a much-needed relief bill to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Among other provisions, the deal includes substantial aid to frontline workers in the medical industry. It also gives $1,200 to every American adult, plus $500 per child to every American family.
Schumer and McConnell huddled after deal reached. I think I detect smiles? pic.twitter.com/ylywSjVNb2
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) March 25, 2020
It expands unemployment insurance to workers, including to “gig economy” employees who may have been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic. And the bill will allow businesses to apply for loans from the federal government to stay afloat.
Still, not much is known on how long social distancing measures will be needed, or how much damage to Americans’ pocketbooks this crisis will bring. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) explained in an interview on CNN’s “New Day” that more may be needed in the months ahead.
“We don’t know how long it’s going to last, who’s affected. We still don’t exactly know,” Schumer said.
“To the American people, we say big help, quick help, is on the way,” @SenSchumer says about the historic $2 trillion stimulus deal between the White House and Senate. “The five pillars that we fought for to make the bill better… are all in the bill.”https://t.co/5SESKDsft7 pic.twitter.com/bWfETvWFRT
— New Day (@NewDay) March 25, 2020
He added that if more aid was needed, Congress had to be prepared to act.
“We should be willing, able to come back in a bipartisan way and do more if we need. I believe we’ll probably have to do that one way or another.”
The minority leader also conceded that the bill wasn’t perfect in his eyes — but that it did do a great deal of good.
“Does it have everything we need? No. Are some things in there that I would have rather not had? No, of course,” Schumer said. “But this is the art of coming together. America needed huge help quickly. And I think we’ve risen to that occasion.”
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, more than 55,000 Americans have contracted coronavirus, with 802 having died from the disease so far. The U.S. ranks third in the world in terms of the number who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.